Why the Russian offensive in the Donbass again puts Marine Le Pen at odds – BFMTV

Since Monday, the Russian army has gone on the offensive in Donbass, Ukraine. This new attack does not suit Marine Le Pen, who has been struggling since the start of the campaign to dispel the impression of collusion between her and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Emmanuel Macron will not fail to attack him on this point during the debate this Wednesday evening. Beyond the human tragedy that it represents, the Russian offensive on the Donbass, in the south-east of Ukraine, already promises to have repercussions on the conclusion of the French presidential campaign. Triggered on Monday, six days before the second round of the ballot, the assault once again sheds an embarrassing light on the benevolence that Marine Le Pen has long displayed vis-à-vis the Kremlin. In any case, the event provides an angle of attack on Emmanuel Macron for the debate this Wednesday evening. His entourage is also working to prepare the ground. • The disavowal of President ZelenskyWords that resonate deeply and fall badly for the contender for the Elysée. In the exceptional interview he granted us and which we are broadcasting this Wednesday at 6:50 p.m., Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky himself disavowed Marine Le Pen’s position. “If the candidate were to understand that she is cheated, our relationship could change,” he said. Russia. A vision that she had again renewed on February 1, 2017 in an interview with CNN, an extract of which circulated during this intervening period. presidential debate to open on international subjects. The draw decided otherwise, and the discussion will first roll on the topic of purchasing power. But the President of the Republic in office will not have to be patient for too long, foreign policy should serve as the second chapter of the exchange. The interest is twofold for Emmanuel Macron. Flag effect and initiatives on the international scene oblige, the theme of the war in Ukraine is supposed to illustrate the presidential stature endorsed in fact by the outgoing. Above all, the Russian aggression on the Donbass is again putting his adversary in difficulty, relaunching the trials in collusion with Moscow which have been pursuing Marine Le Pen since the end of February. taken care to denounce this new phase of the conflict on Monday. “I condemn Russia’s offensive against the Ukrainian people in Donbass,” she wrote on Twitter at the time. “We must support all possible diplomatic efforts to achieve to a ceasefire and to impose peace on Russia so that Ukraine regains its full sovereignty. “Only here, the unpleasant impression of a link between Marine Le Pen and Russia is tenacious. First of all, there is this photo immortalizing his meeting on March 24, 2017 in Moscow with Vladimir Putin. A cliché supposed to cut him an international costume and that the contender for the Elysée even broadcast in his first campaign leaflets. It was before February 24, before the war, and today, the image highlights a geopolitical miscalculation more than it enhances his diplomatic CV.• Russian loanThe press has pointed to even more concrete links between the National Rally and the powerful federation: taking out a loan from a Russian bank, a loan still being reimbursed. Marine Le Pen has also had to justify herself on this point and repeatedly. Thus, last Wednesday, exposing her foreign policy program in the Salons Hoche in Paris, the candidate hammered home that the banking institution in question was not only Russian but “Czecho-Russian”, and that she was not was turned towards her only by default, assuring that the French banks refused her any credit. “I am completely independent of any link with a foreign power”, even wanted to refute Marine Le Pen. Ibiza” interrupted the press conference, notably brandishing a sign denouncing the handshake between the leader of the National Rally and Vladimir Putin. its detractors that, if it has distanced itself from Russia since its entry into the war against Ukraine and even more since the invasion of Donbass, it is reluctant to bury the relationship. She even reaffirmed her desire for a “strategic rapprochement between NATO and Russia” after the conflict. “It is in the interest of France and Europe”, she developed there is a week in front of the journalists. A desire for conciliation that is surprising to say the least in the current context. And which echoes the reservations of the representatives of its formation in the Parliament of Strasbourg. Indeed, on April 7, the latter did not vote for the European resolution aimed at protecting children fleeing the theater of war. First celebrated as a war prize when he joined the party in 2019, this defector from the Republicans has somewhat demonetized himself. Defeated during the last regional in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, it is above all his well-known – and very assumed – sympathy for Russia which poses a problem in this final stretch. Aware that the attitude and composition of his entourage could well alert an opinion sensitive to the Ukrainian cause, Marine Le Pen has chosen to put him in the background. Le Monde noticed that Thierry Mariani was not among the spokespersons called to run the sets to promote the candidate. The evening daily notes, on the other hand, that he still provides him with notes, written by himself, in particular for the debate this Wednesday. the evening. Emmanuel Macron has also not lacked, in recent days, lieutenants to light the first fires. And they did not procrastinate on the argument to use against the rival of their leader. Many of them have thus attacked it head on about the current war. On Monday, when Russian penetration into the Donbass was imminent, government spokesman Gabriel Attal launched on France 2, in a form of of an eye to the excesses of the father of the deputy elected in Pas-de-Calais: “The atrocities that we see in Ukraine are a point of detail in history for Marine Le Pen, to use a formula from this party” On Tuesday, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Foreign Affairs, used the same lever with Ouest France. “There would only be one question” in the event of Marine Le Pen’s victory on Sunday, he said, before listing several: “Would France maintain its position as leader in Europe? in the face of Russian aggression? Would France support the Ukrainians faced with this very brutal new phase? Would France continue its military support for Ukraine and the sanctions? There is a strong question that it must answer “Marine Le Pen will therefore have a whole evening to do it in a few hours. And we doubt that she has a choice. Robin Verner Journalist BFMTV